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IoT Business Applications: How to Power Up Your Business

  • 16-17 min read
  • October 21, 2021
  • 👍 Rating — 4.8 (14 votes)

Every business nowadays fights for better performance to get ahead of the competition. So, companies are constantly searching for ways to overreach their business goals and get better results. 

The tech field offers many innovative solutions that enhance business performance. Implementation of the Internet of Things (IoT) is an example of technology that changes how enterprises approach process monitoring, automation, and data generation.

In this article, we collected the main points you need to know about using IoT for business, including how it can be helpful for your company specifically and how to develop IoT applications.

How Can IoT Be Used in Business?

IoT brings businesses to a new age of automation. And it applies to companies of different sizes and from various industries, so the conclusion is pretty simple: your company may benefit from IoT as well. 

So, what are the top reasons why companies should implement IoT?

Increased efficiency

IoT enables monitoring of your internal business processes, so it grants you a higher level of visibility. This way, you obtain real information on the performance of your operations, like production, supply chain, or many others, and find out opportunities for optimization. 83% of organizations that adopted IoT have claimed that their business efficiency had significantly grown, according to Aruba Research Report.

Smart, cost-effective approaches

You can find many ways to make use of IoT and most of them will help you cut expenses. For example, IoT can manage the electricity and water consumption in your office, store, warehouse, or shop floor. You will only pay for the resources that you actually use. According to Escolar, a smart lighting system can save around 35% on your electricity bill. 

Prolonged life of the equipment 

IoT application brings the most value when it is combined with other cutting-edge technologies, like artificial intelligence. And one of the most expedient manifestations of such integrity is predictive maintenance.

The idea of predictive maintenance is to support and fix machinery before it actually breaks down and blocks the production activities. The IoT sensors constantly monitor the equipment condition, while AI uses this data to create a prediction and determine when the maintenance should be done. Deloitte states that predictive maintenance increases equipment availability by 10-20% and reduces maintenance expenses by 5-10%. 

Ensuring safety in the work environment

At its core, IoT is a great technology to improve safety measures in your company. You may apply IoT in different forms here: for example, remote access to heavy machinery powered by IoT eliminates the need for humans to approach and interact with dangerous equipment. Wearables may be used to track the health condition of workers in hazard zones and notify if their state becomes critical. 

IoT, if implemented correctly, is a precise technology: it eliminates human involvement and decreases room for mistakes. Constant monitoring and tracking will prevent work-related injuries and generally create a safer environment. 

IoT business opportunities

The main reason for adopting IoT is cost reduction. However, let’s contemplate the situation more clearly: IoT optimizes processes, generates data that shows valuable insights on your operations, custom behavior, supply chain, etc. 

Hence, you get two great advantages: additional resources in the form of saved time, costs, or employees that will have time for other responsibilities, and information on your performance. Combining them, you may come up with ideas for new products, services, or approaches to business operations.

IoT Business Trends

IoT statistics

IoT infiltrated medicine, manufacturing, retail, and many other fields. The IoT business opportunities get wider as more and more enterprises embrace it. The popularity of IoT in business increased with the pandemics, as companies have experienced a strong need for automation and decreased human involvement in the processes where it is possible. Vodafone’s survey claims that 84% of businesses successfully used IoT to adapt to the new reality last year.

So, what are the current trends and challenges in the IoT?

Hyperautomation

Automation isn’t a new concept, especially for industrial organizations. However, it doesn’t provide global connectivity between the whole company, rather between the individual departments. Hyperautomation, on the other hand, overcomes this challenge and creates a complete system that synchronizes all company’s departments. 

IoT plays a significant role in this process. Connected sensors are designed to gather valuable info about the assets and operations. This way, the company has a constant flow of precise information that can further trigger other robotic solutions.

Hyperautomation also indirectly helps your employees: technologies become in charge of routine tasks, and your staff has more opportunities to express creativity and apply themselves to more advanced assignments.

Custom relationship management powered by IoT

And we don’t just mean smart home devices that can send the data about any problem directly to the manufacturer. CRM systems can use IoT-generated data to better record customer experience, their problems, and their wishes. 

Custom services will improve as well. Imagine a situation: a client wants to know when their delivery will be done or whether this or that product is now available. It’s quite possible that the client manager will take some time to check inventory, and clients will be forced to wait. With IoT, the manager will have this info at hand and quickly update the customer. 

Integration with other solutions

As we’ve already mentioned, IoT is usually used to gather data, while other technologies like AI or ML leverage this data to solve business tasks. AI and IoT integration are some of the most popular combinations: IoT provides information, then AI analyzes it and makes balanced changes into your processes or creates predictions that will boost your results.

IoT and blockchain integration

The speedy development of IoT leads not only to the successful implementation of these technologies into our lives but also to creating dangerous situations. Sensational hacking of smart devices via Mirai is a good example. That means security is what IoT needs most of all.

Meanwhile, blockchain is now used not only for transactions between users but also in a wide range of fields, including financial markets, the gaming industry, public administration, etc.

The tandem of a blockchain and the Internet of things gradually forms the basis of a new concept called “programmable economics.”

“With the Internet of things (IoT), things become smart, connected to each other, and more focused on increasing the role in the life of each person. The current concept of IoT lacks a critically important component — monetization. The success of the Internet of things will be achieved through the development of a new economic platform and the corresponding monetary model. Monetized “things” will predetermine the development of a new economy,” said David Furlonger, vice president and board member of Gartner.

Thus, the IoT and the blockchain open vast opportunities, both for the automation of everyday tasks and for decision support systems and the robotization of high-tech industries.

IoT Implementation Risks

We can highlight more the value and impact of IoT — as you can see, we are clearly fans! However, it is worth mentioning that there is a set of challenges you should be prepared for before diving into the world of IoT. 

On a scale of one to five, how ready is your company for implementing IoT?
6 votes · 6 answers

Security

The protection of IoT devices from cyberattacks has become the biggest challenge, and therefore, a critical trend. If someone gets access to your connected devices, it might lead to a disaster. 

Unfortunately, IoT devices are often made without sufficient security measures in place, and users aren’t aware of such weaknesses. This leads to data leaks, security breaches, and hackers who gain remote access to IoT devices and internal business networks.  

So, when your organization adopts IoT, discuss the security issues with your IT department and create a plan on how to ensure the protection of smart devices. 

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Related Article
We had our share of Internet of Things app development projects. While working on them, we established the main points in security you need to pay attention to. Check our guide and use the best cybersecurity practices!

Data management

IoT devices can transfer a lot of different data from different locations. In the beginning, you may face the challenge of handling these volumes. The difficulties may arise in data processing, data storage, or further data management.

As the majority of IoT data is used for analysis, there is also a question of data cleaning, as well as advanced memory processing technologies. 

Interoperability

It’s no wonder that IoT is also known as connected devices. So, the devices should communicate with each other, and here is a catch. There are many devices manufacturers and the IoT system that shares the main concepts: sensors and connectivity but the other aspect may need some adjustments and rearrangements. 

Lack of technical expertise

IoT is at least a decade old and only gains popularity exponentially. But it’s still an innovative technology, and there is a tiny chance that your IT team has experts in Internet of Things app development, implementation, and support.

Existing staff may not have enough time to run the implementation of this technology, nor sufficient knowledge, skills, or experience to do so successfully. 

Hence, it is an informed decision to apply to a third-party vendor who will be able to create suitable software, tailor, and test it on your IoT device to provide you with a ready-to-use application. 

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IoT Devices

The Internet of Things revolutionizes the interaction between products, customers, and devices. When you implement the IoT business applications, you can get data from multiple devices and monitor any aspect of your manufacturing operations or service providing (of course, taking privacy into consideration).

From this perspective, one of the best features of IoT is a wide variety of devices and industries where they can be implemented with the help of an Internet of Things development company. Here are some examples:

  • shipping trackers to monitor your inventory in the transit;
  • RFID tags to track when and what of your inventory is sold;
  • smart thermostat, light, and HVAC sensors to optimize the usage of resources and to manage environment in different premises;
  • heat and humidity sensors to track these essential indicators on the plants or greenhouses;
  • connected cameras to ensure the security of workspaces or warehouses;
  • mobile card readers and mobile POS solutions for retail businesses;
  • medical devices to monitor remotely the physical state of patients;
  • Internet-connected trackers on the company’s fleet to track vehicles and plan routes;
  • and many others.

Basically, any traditional business may be transformed with the help of IoT devices. Leverage the power of connectivity and data to improve your business and decision-making.

Examples of IoT Usage in Different Business Fields

IoT can help any business niche, as every company is looking to reduce costs, improve productivity and increase the quality of products or services. We gathered some IoT ideas and examples that are used in different fields.

IoT in Manufacturing

IoT in manufacturing

This is one of the most promising areas for IoT integration. Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT, is widely used in smart factories, connecting machinery, robots, and humans who work alongside. The companies usually automate dozens of tasks, especially those that are related to monitoring and repetitive operations.

Here is an example of the IIoT value: recently, Caterpillar Marine has saved $5 million by using Big Data and adopting a simple IoT sensor system. The company has combined IoT with predictive analytics software, which identifies the optimum time for machinery maintenance.

While this example may seem applicable only to large companies, there are cheaper ways to save on production and maintenance by integrating IoT technologies.

IIoT solutions for manufacturing enterprises may bring you these benefits:

  • equipment sensors can reduce their wear and tear by 30%;
  • IoT-powered drones can move heavy inventory without human involvement;
  • trackers can trace the inventory transportations and levels.

IoT in Healthcare

IoT in healthcare

In the healthcare industry, IoT brings many development opportunities. Connected devices automatically and remotely gather data about the patient state and efficiently monitor hospital staff and equipment.

The Internet of medical things is predicted to grow and reach $254.2 billion by 2026. It’s possible since connected devices bring the following benefits to healthcare: 

  • cost reduction on in-clinic visits and hospital stays;
  • better accuracy in  health monitoring, and, hence, faster diagnostics; 
  • better equipment management.

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Medical IoT is a large niche with numerous solutions. Check our latest digest on the matter and see what you can implement in your company right now.

IoT in Retail

Although retail isn’t the most prominent field to apply IoT business application, it has also found its way and showed decent results. Brick-and-mortar stores use IoT to monitor their assets inside the shops and go through suppliers. 

Food retailers applied smart sensors to monitor the food storage temperature. Whenever it becomes abnormal, the system gives an alert. With this simple flow and IoT business applications, retails easily decrease the amount of spoiled food. 

IoT is also used to automate in-shop purchases, removing employees from this process and increasing the speed of purchase transactions. Here are some of the most compelling examples. 

As an example, let’s talk about Amazon’s automated supermarket, Amazon Go. It has Just Walk Out technology that processes payments automatically without cashier assistance. The technology behind the system is quite simple. The client downloads the mobile app and enters the store, previously authorized. When finished shopping, the client’s credit card is charged automatically upon exiting the store. Such technology can be used in 24/7 stores to cut night-shift hours.

Another approach is suggested by Panasonic. The company has created a smart cart. It is able to count the number of products selected by the buyer and calculate the total purchase cost. Besides, the cart will pack all the purchased goods themselves. The buyer will only have to pay.

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Researching different IoT app development companies?

GBKSOFT is ready to provide you with these services. Contact our manager and get an estimation for your project.

IoT in Facility Maintenance

Iot in facility maintenance

Smart Home systems are widely known, but the same approach can be used to simplify the maintenance of your office or other facilities. It can help with: 

  • remote light control;
  • access to security cameras;
  • thermostat control;
  • office appliances control.

Another great Internet of Things example is Niwa – the first automated watering system. Niwa controls the plant hydroponics and feeds them properly to achieve optimal growth conditions 24/7. 

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It’s also possible to make your office “smart” with the IoT. Find more about it in this article.

IoT in Agriculture 

IoT in agriculture

IoT brings automation to agriculture as well. Of course, the main reason why you should apply IoT to your agriculture business is higher revenue. Other benefits are better decision-making access to the constant flow of data from the farm and greenhouses, increased production and quality. IoT application may be used to:

  • track the movements and health condition of the cattle;
  • embrace precise farming, when the data received from the sensor on the field, analyze the state of the soil and plants and determined the amount of water and fertilizer to be used;
  • greenhouse automation.
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Need a deeper view?
Check our specific article on the IoT in the agriculture field!

IoT in Logistics

The main challenges here are related to warehouse and inventory management and manual data exchange between different parts of the supply chain. IoT, on the other hand, gives simple solutions for these issues.

Attaching simple sensors to goods and inventory simplifies tracking and counting, as the data from the IoT sensor will be sent to the cloud automatically and become available instantly. It also can prevent losses, for example, from robberies.

Data accumulation from every process in the supply chain (order processing, delivery, financing, etc.) gives a basis for further forecasting. As IoT can provide accurate data on everything, the insight on the actual needs and capabilities of logistics becomes more realistic; thus, the management can adjust decisions and receive the best results possible. 

IoT in HoReCa

IoT in HoReCa

Hotels and private sports clubs are already using smart bracelets to navigate guests across the location. Hotels can implement IoT sensors to predict visitor routes and prepare beverages in advance thus securing a better level of service.

On the other hand, smart food storage in a restaurant may analyze product inventory and, once it’s running low on supplies, can make replenishment orders without human involvement.

IoT for restaurants provides:

  • automatic product ordering;
  • expiration date tracking;
  • replenishment of cleaners;
  • optimization of expenses.

Have you implemented any IoT applications in your business?
3 votes · 3 answers

GBKSOFT — Your IoT App Development Company 

Since 2011, we have been helping businesses grow and enhance their performance through the means of software development. We have successfully delivered dozens of IoT projects, with the most vivid cases being: 

  • Aquiline Drones — an Uber-like application for drone owners and people who want to rent a drone for a few hours; the app allows users to book a drone, communicate with its owner about what it is supposed to do. 
  • CTRL Golf — Android application for golf enthusiasts; the app is connected to the sensors on a special golf sleeve and analyses players’ moves and techniques to provide later recommendations on how to improve their playing skills. 

To ensure the success of the Internet of Things app development, we guarantee:

  • expansive Discovery Stage with detailed research, proof of concept preparation, project vision, and wireframes creation;
  • the full cycle of software development;
  • integration with final versions of IoT devices, their synchronization with software;
  • testing the integration of IoT devices and software on real devices done by our development team;
  • compliance with IoT security measures and procedures.

To create efficient, multiplatform IoT-powered software, you will need to engage a team of the following experts. However, the team composition may vary, depending on the type of services you need us to cover, and the type of IoT devices. 

Specialist Engagement
Business Analyst Full-time
DevOps Specialist Part-time
UI/UX Designer Part-time
Tech Lead Part-time
Android Developer (if needed) Full-time
IOS Developer (if needed) Full-time
Front-end Developer (if needed) Full-time
Back-end Developer Full-time
QA engineer Full-time
Auto QA engineer Full-time
Scrum Master Full-time
Average cost per month 40-50k USD
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Bottom Line

Whether you’re a growing startup or a global enterprise, you can shape the Internet of Things the way you need to create new business models and revenue streams. IoT has become the leading trend in business automation. With IoT, any company in any field may increase its productivity, decrease operation costs and human resources. And it’s easily achievable by developing a custom IoT application.

Developing an IoT platform lets you connect sensors and devices to the cloud, collect & secure data, and gain insights in real-time to make timely business decisions. We’ll help you build, launch and manage IoT applications and solutions quickly, securely, and at scale.

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IoT usage is not limited to smart home technologies that we are so familiar with. In business, IoT is used to gather data on the majority of business operations, automate processes. The most common examples of IoT in business are predictive maintenance, sensors for inventory tracking, sensors for environment tracking, etc.
Manufacturing, medicine, and logistics gain the most from the IoT usage, as companies there implement IoT to monitor different states (e.g., medical indicators of a person) or objects (goods being shipped) and keep track of them.
IoT is a cutting-edge technology that will help you to reduce utility spending, maintenance, and defective goods, will enhance security, automate processes and switch your company to data-driven decision-making.
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Creator

I believe that the tech sphere is one of the most important markets nowadays, therefore I like to dig into new trends and explain their main point in simple words. My interests include how new technologies improve our everyday life, including education, traveling, communication, and workflow. My Linkedin, Twitter
Alexandra Rostovtseva

Expert

Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.
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Comments (6)

Jack Norman
Mar 05, 2021 at 9:27 AM

Great!
Helpful and Informative blog. Thanks for sharing this information with us.
Thanks For sharing.

reply
Olha Didenko
Oct 21, 2021 at 11:53 AM
Jack Norman,

Thank you, Jack! Check our other IoT articles, hopefully, they will also be useful for you!

reply
Kulmohan Singh
Feb 03, 2021 at 10:43 AM

A great piece that sheds much-needed light on emerging technology like IoT mobile app development and its impact on the business as there are many new details you posted here. Sometimes it is not so easy to provide a top IoT app development service without custom knowledge; here you need proper development skills and experience.

reply
Olha Didenko
Oct 21, 2021 at 11:53 AM
Kulmohan Singh,

Thank you for your feedback, appreciated 🙂

reply
Jeff Weiners
Sep 30, 2019 at 2:06 PM

Great Post! Keep sharing I am also looking for this kind of blog post.

reply
Anna Scott
Mar 02, 2017 at 8:51 AM

What a great article!. I am bookmarking it to read it over again after work. It seems like iot apps topic to write about.

reply

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